Cayman’s national shot put and discus record holder Lacee Barnes, now of the University of Texas San-Antonio says life has changed since becoming an NCAA student athlete.
“Definitely have a more structured life school in the morning by my latest class were finished at 11 o’clock then right afterwards straight to training training for two hours then right after it’s the weight room lifting weights and that’s an every day thing.”
Barnes was recruited to the school by former Cayman track and field standout and UTSA Assistant Head Coach Kareem Streete-Thompson. Barnes says she’s working her way towards new goals.
“I train with a great team a bunch of throwers. I’m not the best, but for discus I believe i’m second best, so it’s just a case that I’m a Freshman have to make a name for myself.”
Barnes says the added structure and competition has already paid off.
“I have some goals for the season for discus is 55 meters, I’ve already thrown 50 meters, I’ve already surpassed my PB (personal best). Shot put, it will be 15 meters, my personal best is 13 but my coach knows I can do it.
Barnes adds she’s already picking up next skills
“I’ve just started learning hammer throw and weight throw. Weight throw it’s just like hammer throw but its a heavier ball indoor.”
The freshman laments however, being a collegiate athlete has taken a lot of sacrifice.
“Being an athlete for NCAA, there’s so many rules. They consider school our one job, and training our second job. For some athletes that want to get outside jobs, it’s not allowed most the time.”
In the end, Barnes hopes it will all pay off.
“Meddling at nationals in college, but also the next Olympics will be in 2020. I’ll be 21 and in my junior year so that’s actually one of my biggest goals is to make it to the Olympics while I’m in college.”
With the bar set high, Barnes knows she is fortunate for her opportunities.
“I’ve seen too many athletes are so great athletic wise, but aren’t able to get the collegiate level because the academics part or the ramp need to be. A lot of adults say you must have both and they are lying.”
A slice of freshman life from one of Cayman’s collegiate students athletes.